Home Interviews Desiree Nemcik [Interview]

Desiree Nemcik [Interview]

38 min read

On a trip, alone to the other side of the world, Desirée embarks on a race against the current towards the professionalization of music production with the certainty that the chosen path is the correct one. Crossed by the need to delve into the vast universe of electronic music creation and with a background inherited mainly from rock, inspired by bands like Sodastereo, Charly García, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, The Cure, The Cranberries among others, she began to take their first steps reconnecting with their roots: writing, composition, piano and guitar.

Flooded by a greater commitment to her own understanding, she began a long path towards professionalization, training with expert colleagues in mixing, mastering, composition, singing and piano. Working self-taught in her home studio and motivated by the need to express her creativity, she composed her first melodies, moved by the awareness of the path towards expression and sharing that was beginning to open up.

At the age of 19, she learned to mix with compactors and decided to participate in a radio show in his hometown. Later she chooses to commit exclusively to her career as a producer and leaves the decks waiting for another stage. Shortly after, she receives inspiring feedback on his productions from artists such as Hernan Cattaneo, even mixing her music with Brian Cid. Requests for collaborations, remixes and voices for other musical projects appear, such as Peces Raros, which encourages her to continue.

Live she presents her Live Set format, displays her personality through the handling of her elements, her technique and her captivating voice. On side B, she presents a Dj set format, which puts her in the position of curator and musical analysis, allowing her to develop longer sets with another type of functionality in the club.

Her music seeks to be danceable on the floor and, in turn, to be a door to introspection and emotion. Combining elements of rock, break, and techno, she regulates the intensity, also adding melodies and voices that characterize her work, experimenting with synthesis and sound design, allowing herself to play to discover new places. Her proposal is liberating and sensitive, her sound transforms whoever listens to it.

Hi Desiree, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Thank you for the space and interest to share. Currently, very positive and calm. The last thing I heard was a mix of Jimi Hendrix songs.

How was this past summer season in Argentina and what are your plans for the coming week?

Last summer season was a time where I looked to plan projects that will be consolidated for the next summer season, working a lot in the studio. It was a summer that I felt like leaving the vacations for another time, to advance in work and study. The plans for next week are to continue advancing with the album that I began to produce, which is undoubtedly a door to discover myself in a completely renewed and liberated way.

You started your musical journey playing guitar and piano, tell us how you transitioned from that into an electronic music producer and DJ? And how has that past musical history helped your work in electronic music.

On a trip to Australia, alone, at the age of 18, it was at the Electric Gardens festival, where my mind was blown, and where a deep desire to want to build those environments full of layers of sound was awakened, adding my voice, my guitar and the piano, a deep desire to be able, with my tools, to immerse myself in that vast sea of ​​sounds.

I have not yet used the guitar definitively for any of my electronic tracks, I believe that due to distractions from my desires, those distractions will leave what I am working on.

Having played instruments and written songs since I was a child, helped me open up a path of expressiveness of emotions, managing to relate chords, melodies and rhythms to feelings. Or rather, finding the chords, melodies and rhythms that express those feelings. I believe that since I was little, managing to associate sounds with emotions, in addition to allowing me to channel feelings into musical expression, allowed me to approach production with deep intentions, although I never strayed from improvisation and play, as the key.

How did growing up in Argentina influence your music taste and direction? Or did it at all?

Argentina has a strong national rock culture that influenced me from the social to the musical. In music, despite the existence of genres, the boundaries between genres are blurred, and the influences of electronic music on rock were as strong as rock on electronic music. A great friend, laughingly tells me, a good idea of Melodic Techno is the one that the lead or vocal can be sung on a soccer field, this as a joke reflected in the Argentine soccer culture, so much so that laughter was inevitable, seriously speaking, for me also true. Feel strongly related to national rock with electronic music, sometimes as a source of inspiration, is the example of Gustavo Cerati, and Sodastereo, who adding poetry to his lyrics, were my first windows to the perception of the different dimensions and nuances of the rock and electronic music, Angel Electrico by sodastereo one of my favorite songs, is an example of those first influences, which never went extinct. Currently, Peces Raros Argentinian band reflects very well these mutual influences.

The truth is that, in music, despite the existence of genres, the boundaries between genres are blurred, and the influences of electronic music on rock were as strong as rock on electronic music. A great friend, laughingly tells me, a good idea of ​​Melodic Techno is the one that the lead or vocal can be hummed on a soccer field, this as a joke reflected in the Argentine soccer culture, so much so that laughter was inevitable , seriously speaking, for me also very true.

I feel strongly related to national rock with electronic music, sometimes as a source of inspiration, is the example of Gustavo Cerati, and Sodastereo, who adding poetry to his lyrics, were the first windows to the perception of the different dimensions and nuances of the rock and electronic music, Angel Electrico by sodastereo one of my favorite songs, is an example of those first influences, which never went extinct. Currently, Peces Raros Argentinian band reflects very well these mutual influences.

Argentina is best known for progressive house but you’re more of a melodic house and techno artist, who from your country (in this style) influenced you when you were first discovering electronic music?

When I discovered electronic music, I would have been around 10 or 11 years old, I didn't know of any artist from my country of this style, not even that it existed. I got to know electronic music through trans, listening to Tony Igy, Perfect World, if you listen to that track, you might understand that my 11-year-old self went crazy when I hear that guitar riff with which it begins and without any further ado it hits you straight to the heart fibers. Later, as progressive house was heard a lot more, in the wide range of genres I heard, it stood out, and they went to the first parties I went to. After a year of the first steps in musical production, at the age of 19 I venture into djing, I used to prepare, every Saturday, sets for a radio show on an electronic music radio in my city. Where I began to understand where my greatest feelings were, and it was clearly in melodic techno, generalizing widely. In its beginnings, it was only a progressive house radio, I did not limit myself to selecting the music that made me feel more, and the feedback, although risky, was positive. The truth is that no one from my country at that time influenced me.

Do you feel this is a sound which is gaining popularity in Argentina and who are some of Argetina’s emerging artists from this sound?

The melodic has its origins, like all genres, in other classical genres, in this case, mainly the influence of trans, and it is a genre that was identified as Melodic a few years ago compared to others, it took a while to be accepted in my country, but I evolve quickly, marked by the great evolution of the header labels. The fact that it is gaining popularity, seen from the side of opportunities, generates a greater acceptance of the genre, and more proposals for national melodic artists and greater connections.

Some of the emerging Argentine artists, I would say that worldwide, of melodic house and techno, which have not been lacking in my last sets, are Ditian, Abuk and Eze Ramirez, with a strongly consolidated sound and great ideas. It is also worth mentioning artists such as Emiliano Demarco, Maxi Vega and Ushnu. All of them with strong support from great international artists.

If you are not DJing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

Mainly in the studio producing, composing, sketching, studying architecture, since I am an advanced student of the career, or, taking care of the health of my body and mind, being with my family, friends, yoga, writing, going out to a park, reading etc.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

When I wanted to start production I went to the house of some friends who used Ableton Live, even though they worked in other genres like rock, pop, and house, I tried to introduce myself to understand Ableton first. Over time I met Luis Callegari who taught me about mixing, synthesis, audio, performance and live audio, my main mentor in all this, for almost three years. In parallel I also did classes with my friend Federico Boris akai Ushnu, also with Paula Os, a great artist and friend, and Rocio Giorgi as a vocal coach. I was always that if I was interested in someone's work for something I would seek to learn from them. I think that in addition to using all the information on the internet, where there are many specific video tutorials on whatever you can think of, being able to have a personal bond with someone who inspires you, where there is a space of trust where you can share a model or an idea in production process is key.

The career of an artist and producer implies a lot of time spent alone with your head and your ideas in your studio, and sometimes it is healthy to be able to share those ideas before they are closed or decreed, sometimes our head can passionately deceive us, more even when we are learning and when we are forming an identity, it is always good to be able to share and generate an exchange, feedback is fundamental and constructive. I believe that music at the end of everything is made for others, so if we are going to close only in our own judgment, it is difficult for us to understand what people on a dance floor want to feel.

That being said, I would recommend that you initially look for musical references and people who can understand your search to guide you a bit, that you share your music with other trusted producers and that you meet people who are in the same search.

Allow yourself to understand music as a whole and not as a specific genre. That they do not seek perfection, that they allow themselves the necessary time to learn, and that, if they find themselves flowing through a place that was not intended, they do not limit themselves to exploring. Finally, that the processes are not linear, if you have to go back, you go back and start again, that's what it's all about. Not everything has to make sense, sometimes it is done for the pleasure of feeling. Sometimes the meaning is found after having done it. Anyway, don't just do, and surround yourself with healthy people who are on the same path.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions.

I use a macbook and a uad audio interface, the apollo twin duo as the brain of everything, Yamaha monitors, hydrasynth explorer, a synthesizer that allows all types of synthesis, practical and expressive for live performance, and instruments that help me to write and compose like a cassio keyboard and 2 guitars, an electric Epiphone Les Paul and an electroacoustic Memphis.

Let's talk a bit more about production for a moment. Where does the impulse to create something come from? What role do often-cited sources of inspiration, such as dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics, etc., play in your music writing?

The impulse to create often comes from the pursuit of self-improvement. Sometimes it stems from a playful moment where I let improvisation guide me entirely. Other times, it arises from feelings that seek to be translated into musical language, where I often manage to comprehend them. Emotions are the main source of music creation for me. I seek to translate an emotion into intensities, chords, melodies, rhythms, and lyrics. Undoubtedly, relationships, both with others and with myself, play a significant role in finding inspiration to compose.

Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it rest and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you're satisfied with a piece? How does this process work in practice? And who do you share your new music with first to receive feedback?

 Taking some time to let a track rest and listening to it again later is important to me because it allows my ears and mind to rest from the idea that may have consumed many hours. It has also happened to me that by leaving a track untouched for a while, a superior idea has come to me, giving it a twist and providing me with greater satisfaction. There's a misconception that music ages, but I think that's not the case. If one aims to create a sonic identity, it's crucial to be 100% certain of what will be released.

 The task I enjoy the most in production is composition and sound design. It's the creative part where I choose the colors and materials to paint the picture. Mixing and mastering, I currently take care of myself because I see them as part of the expression as well. However, I have worked with engineers to mix my music, and we have achieved very interesting results. Sometimes, I would prefer to mix and master with an engineer, but it's not always necessary when sending demos. When it comes to releasing an EP or a final album, I would choose to delegate it to a mixing and mastering engineer.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio that you would pay for if you were very rich?

I'm not sure if it counts as an extravagance, but considering its significance to me, it would be a Moog Sub 37. It was the first analog synthesizer I ever played at 19 years old. It belonged to a friend, and I had just started producing at that time. It gave me goosebumps.

Now let's talk about performing live. It's a unique discipline that sits on the border between presenting good music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to some extent. How would you describe your approach?

The music I play in my live sets are always tracks that I produced in the studio, but I leave room for improvisation during the live performance. Although the tracks may not necessarily be closed, the intensity or groove they possess serve me in a particular moment, so I use them live and improvise with the synthesizer or vocals.

Can you tell me a bit about how your live performances have influenced your vision of music, your way of listening to tracks, and perhaps your work as a producer?

My live performances have mainly influenced the definition of intensities. When I listen to and make music for my sets, I pay primary attention to the intensities based on the moment and place where it will be played. Additionally, when I create music, I think about its conception for the majority, for the dancefloor. I consider its intensity and the role it would play within a club set

If you could organize an event with a lineup of five artists of your choice, who would you hire and what fixed schedules would you assign to the artists?

I am planning a cycle of events in Buenos Aires, so I have thought about this question quite a bit. I would invite Eclipse Sonar, a live melodic band, Come to Me, Agustin Giri, Abuk, and Emiliano Demarco, for sure. I would assign fixed schedules to each artist based on their style and energy, creating a balanced and exciting musical experience for the audience.

What is a book you have read or a movie you have seen that has impacted you and why?

"Free Play" is a book that Rocío Giorgi recommended to me, and it has had a significant impact on me. It talks about improvisation and the liberation of preconceived structures. It has left a strong impression on me because it has inspired me to explore and experiment more in my music, creating space for improvisation and breaking creative barriers.

Aside from music, what makes you happiest?

Besides music, my friends and traveling are other things that make me very happy. Traveling gives me a sense of freedom similar to music and allows me to connect with new people and enrich myself personally. My friends are those people with whom I can be myself and who give me a sense of freedom and support. I believe that things that give me a sense of freedom, self-expression, and connect me with playfulness are what will always make me happiest.

 What does the rest of 2023 hold for you in terms of releases and concerts? Anything you can share with us?

This 2023 is a year of consolidation. It has been a long time since I released music in the market, so I have been collaborating on other artists' projects while temporarily staying away from the pressure of releasing music. This allows me to go deeper and become more solid without stopping production and studio work. Individually, my plan for this year is to produce a groundbreaking album, projecting its release for 2024. I also have plans to open a melodic cycle in Buenos Aires, where I will merge architecture and music to create a unique experience.

Follow along with Desiree's upcoming releases here: https://bit.ly/3C0QGEE

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